Know Your Limits

September came in like a flood (And not just because Hurricane Florence just hit the southeast coast.) So far this month has had both highs and lows and even though it may be quiet right now (in the middle) I know it’s going to come to an end. And that ending is inevitable.

You ever just wake up in the morning and dread the day ahead of you? The things on your to-do list just seem never-ending. And all those things may even be good. But the idea of having to begin the day can be anything but pleasing.

Limited Schedules

I started working as a new teacher a few weeks ago (shout out to Greyhound Nation) and that has been completely new. I also started grad school (shout out to Monarch Nation) and that has been new as well. The transition into both institutions has been challenging but well worth it. But to say it’s been easy would be a lie (ha!)

My day usually starts at 5:30 am and doesn’t end to around midnight (on a good day) and it’s not that I want more sleep (because I do!) but that I haven’t rested in between. On one particular day before my feet hit the floor, my mind started racing to what I had to do that day and why I dread doing it. I had to teach 3 classes (which is average for a high school teacher) get them accustomed to my classroom customs, run over to a friend’s house to pick up my belongings (as I stayed there the night before) and then run to class where I spent the next 6 hours in a seat discussing poetic devices and creative themes within time and place. By the time I got to my second class I didn’t have enough cognitive strength to be present (hurting me, my professor, my classmates, and my pockets.)

So what’s the solution to a hectic schedule?

Plan Better

I had those classes a week before I began teaching so I knew what to expect. I took a small hiatus from academics (for about 3 years) so I forgot the point of having deadlines is so that you won’t miss them. Procrastination played me like a fool!

I’ve never been a last minute person but it showed that week.

You’re not supposed to complete assignments on the day of when your only time to complete them is the weekend before its due (duh, Shanisha). I’ll put the blame on not being used to a routine (I have to grace my students in that area).

There is no way for me to be successful if I am not going to take my assignments seriously. But thank God I have professors who are understanding and give me “creative freedom” (perks of being a MFA student). But if I’m going to teach my students in excellence and be present (including engage) in class then I have to have a better sense of time so my soul (mind, emotions, cognitive understanding) can be at rest. The point of planning well is to have a better hold on your day especially when things don’t go as planned. Things may not even go as planned and that’s okay, we can even plan for that.

Know Yourself

Fam, there was NO WAY I was going to get my assignments done, lesson plan and sit in class until 10pm all within 24 hours. Identify your weaknesses and learn from them. Procrastination was never one of mine but anything can happen to hijack your time and distract you from what you’re meant to do. The problem with procrastination is you can never save time, you can only spend it and hopefully, we’re spending it wisely. It takes time to know yourself but once you start identifying your reactions to certain situations then you can begin to see your weaknesses and your limits and learn from them. Knowing yourself well means you don’t compromise or falter because you know what your goals are and what you want. And I know I have to complete assignments, lesson plans and sleep well in advance for me to be cognitively, emotionally, and physically healthy for my sake and my students (talk about a lesson learned).

You have to know your limits. Identify things on your schedule that you don’t need to do. And those things may not necessarily be bad. In the end, you have to do what’s best for you. Make this month overflow with soul rest in the midst of your busyness. Your sanity depends on it.


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